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(HealthDay News) — The arrival of a new brother or sister can be difficult for the older child, but there are ways parents can help ease the transition.

The University of Michigan Health System recommends:

  • Spend time every day, even just a few minutes, alone with the older child. Let the older child choose the activity.
  • Take time to listen to your child’s feelings about the new baby and acknowledge them. Never ignore or belittle what the child tells you.
  • Make sure the older child knows to never hurt the baby. Offer other ways to express anger or frustration.
  • If the older child wants to be babied, indulge that.
  • Have a few small gifts tucked away to give to your older child when people bring gifts for the baby.
  • Gently remind visitors not to forget about your older child.
  • Give your older child some toys and a place that doesn’t need to be shared.
  • Let the older child help care for the baby.
  • Talk about all the good things that come along with being the older sibling.

— Diana Kohnle

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